Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Peru & Ecuador in border war over gold & uranium-rich chunk of Amazon ceded to Peru after 1940-1 war
-(later): ceasefire. Ecuador evidently started this thing, never having accepted being halved in 1940s
UN closing refugee camps for Rwandans, shutting down food & water to force them home. 300,000
Helms succeeds in forcing out nominee to be ambassador to Panama, vacant a yr now. The bastard helped given them our canal.
NY Atty Gen to rescind job protection for homosexuals
Clinton decides not to wait on the pesky democratic process & just give Mexico $20b in loans from the Exchange Stabilization Fund, never before used for someone else’s currency. Mexico puts up its oil earnings as collateral – of course if they default on loans, they can default on that too – what are we supposed to so, occupy the oil fields for 3 yrs? Mexico’s gov bonds were essentially junk bonds, and gov ignored clear evidence of the crisis until the election, and US kept it quiet, wanting PRI to win elections. Also a $17.5b loan, largest ever, forced through IMF quickly – sets a new precedent for what IMF could do if it wanted to, such as it doesn’t for Russia.
In 1951, McCall’s offered Eisenhower $40,000 to answer whether he was a Repub or Dem
State Dept human rights report says Ch. failed to allow Red Cross access to prisons, release sick prisoners, end banning of VOA, or anything else. And harvesting organs from prisoners
London Times pub a leaked document about N Ireland, suggesting plans for a cross-border body. Major goes on tv to deny it
No Peru-Ecuador ceasefire
After devaluation, Mexican min wage 1/12 US’s
R. House “tort reform” would make victims of securities fraud prove knowledge of engaging in fraud. Ignorance would be bliss; there would be incentive to ignore evidence of fraud. And make losers in lawsuits over securities pay the lawyers of the winners
Sen. Larry Pressler tries (& fails) to get NPR to tell him the ethnicity, sex, etc of its employees & names of Pacifica & Christic stations & pol contribs made by people employed or contracted by CPB
Apaches vote down taking nuclear waste
After throwing Surgeon Gen Joycelyn Elders to the dogs, the new Clinton candidate is an OBGYN who has performed abortions. The last one was fired for advocating teaching about masturbation, for god’s sake
Clinton finally comes up w/a min. wage (see yesterday) – $5.15, up 90¢ over 2 yrs
Clinton’s legal expenses for Whitewater & Paula Jones $1.3m 1994. And the defence fund is ½ that
Chechens shoot down a Russian jet fighter w/machine guns
Serbia resupplies Bosnian Serbs w/20 helicopters
Clinton has yet to say much of anything about Balanced Budget trend
US puts 100% punitive tariffs on $1b of Ch. exports to punish them for piracy of US, intellectual prop. rights. Life can be cheap, software & “The Lion King” never
Japanese rejected much help for Kobe earthquake because it was foreign. Tylenol still in warehouses because it may not be appropriate for Jap. bodies. And refused flu vaccine. Tried to enforce quarantine on sniffer dogs, did delay them too late. Health officials tried to delay foreign drs because not licensed in Japan
An official of NSC 1982-7 says CIA helped a Chilean arms dealer sell cluster bombs to Iraq mid-80s. This came out in trial of 2 Teledyne execs who took part.
Gov. of VA George Allen fails to get Gen Ass to repeal sex ed., restrict welfare, build prisons, discourage abortions cut taxes....
House approves line-item veto 294-134 (R’s 223-4 for, D’s 71 to 129 for). Not as a const amend, mind. They’ve really discovered they can do it as a bill. Yeah, right.
Br Scotland Minister Allan Stewart resigns after threatening motor-way protesters w/a pick-axe
UN counts 62 helicopters flying from Serbia to Bosnia, some in military formation. UN observes were thrown out of Serb airfields, so they had no radar.
-Clinton admin ends official contacts w/Bosnian Serbs
Clinton finally names a CIA director at least their 3rd choice, retired Air Force Gen Michael Carns, who has no intelligence experience (update: or not)
When Israel closed off Occupied after a bombing last month, made exemption for Palestinians working for family of 1 of soldiers killed, so the family could go to the funeral. This shows interpenetration. Israel has brought in 12,000 Thais
While allegedly sanctioning Ch., Clinton goes ahead w/subsidized wheat sales. And tariff cuts that went into effect. Jan. 1 worth twice as much to Ch. under new MFN status
House votes 432-0 for anyone convicted of a Fed crime to pay full restitution to crime victims, direct victims & otherwise. Inc as condition of parole – of course, putting them in jail for nonpayment is debtors prisons – which are unconst
-Not finished on gutting search & seizure, allowing stuff seized in good faith, even in absence of a warrant, thus reversing exclusionary rule. Today, voted down the 4th Amend 303-121. It was proposed by D’s as an amend to the bill – word for word the 4th Amend. R’s admitted the amend would gut the bill
The House is merrily gutting the Const & what is Clinton concerned with? The baseball strike. Hell, guess which one McNeil-Lehrer puts 1st.
Fr PS pick Lionel Jospin (who?) a presidential candidate
House 298-142 (inc 69 D’s) to allow illegally-obtained evidence, even w/out a warrant by FBI, Fed law officers, locals in Fed court, but not ATF, which gun loons hate. Or IRS. And 297-132 to restrict habeas corpus appeals to 1, & w/in 6 mos of exhausting state appeals. Voted down amend to exempt innocent people – Hyde says “finality” more important.
-And eliminates sentence of life w/out parole for death penalty crimes
New Panamanian Pres. Balladares since Sep94, has been rehabilitating Noriega-era officials. 4 pardoned 200 inc Noriega’s puppet president, head of paras, etc
Quayle pulls out of race
House leg. would prevent fed habeas corpus unless a state court’s decision “arbitrary or unreasonable”
Defense Sec Perry says force will not be used to prevent Gorazde, Bosnia, being overrun
-And NATO will never go to war over Uzbekhistan. So much for the Partnership for Peace
A study of Soc Sec benefits compare it to 2% priv pensions, show a couple retiring 1995 will get a net subsidy over the 2% of $78,600 over lifetime
House 265-156 increases fed aid to states for prison-building – providing they make inmates serve 85% of sentences. 380-20 to deport illegal aliens after sentences. Fed prisons no longer to have weight-lifting equipment, x-rated movies, computers, cable, musical instruments, miniature golf or food better than that of US Army
Christian Coalition says it will not support R. presidential ticket unless both oppose abortion
Peru-Ecuador war back on
D’s call R’s welfare plan too lenient – doesn’t force people to work
Norman Tebbitt at Young Con. Conf suggests resistance to laws from Eur
And a jr. minister resigns over entry controls
And Br Min Transport says he prefers his car, because you don’t have to sit next to dreadful persons
Surgeon Gen designate Henry Foster also sterilized retarded ♀ in early 1970s. Phil Gramm prefers Marcus Welby
NC approves const amend to give governor the veto, the only state w/out it. Still needs popular vote 1996. Indeed the governor was actually appointed by the legislative until 1835. Veto won’t apply to bills for specific localities as opposed to statewide
2 yrs ago the supreme relig authority of Saudi Arabia, issued fatwa against anyone denying the earth is flat
Clinton’s finally said something about crime measures. He will veto repeal of his commitment to 100,000 new cops. Said nothing about all the anti-civil rights stuff or crime prevention programs
Clinton’s veto-free period unmatched since Fillmore
Sweden admits most of the Soviet subs it’s been complaining about for 20 yrs have turned out to have been... minks.
Pentagon budgets never inc any actual use of the military. Thus we have to pay more for Haiti, Kuwait, Rwanda...
Fed spent $97m on informers 1993
45 states have asked (at some time) for amend to Const against flag-burning. VT votes down such a resolution
Mexico: PRI loses almost every office in state of Jalisco (inc Guadalajara) to right-wing PAN
Br: Lib Dems get Parl to pass vote for referendum on Eur integration. W/most Labour & Tory MPs abstaining, it passed 47-3. Didn’t get either Lab or Tories to split, as hoped, just get 19 Labourites
ANC gov in some turmoil. Allan Boesak turns out to have embezzled donated money. Withdraws as designate to be UN ambassador. And Winnie Mandela alienates ANC Women’s League. ½ leaders resign
CIA refuses to release JFK-era documents on covert support of Conserv politicians in Japan
23 “Dems” in House form voting bloc to support the R. Contract on America
Iraq has set up a secret system to export oil
“Contact Group” on Bosnia (US, Russia, Br, Fr, uh, Ger?), new plan for Yug. to recognize ind of Croatia & Bosnia & cut off supplies to Serbs in both (again). In exchange, all sanctions would be lifted. As if Milosevic has ever kept any promises, or the rest of us tried to make him
An Islamic purist group has come out of nowhere & taken over ½ of Afghanistan. Talibans ban women from work, ban soccer & force men to have short haircuts. The muhihedeen largely deteriorated into warlords & pillage & heroin-running since they won the war
Under pressure from Israel to prosecute militants, Arafat est a military court & jails a human rights critic who dared to criticize the move
Dept Ag settles suit of Banc Nazionale del Lavoro, giving it $400, for Iraq, defaults guaranteed by Commodity Credit Corp
Yeltsin speech to nation blames army for failures in Chechnya, but disciplines (or names) no one
House 241-181 passes bill deduct from peacekeeping dues to UN those entirely US-run operations, like Haiti, that UN rubber stamps. This would bankrupt peacekeeping. Failed to pass bit speeding up Star Wars. Withdrew from provision for Congressional approval for US troops to join new UN peacekeeping missions. Does ban US troops serving under UN commanders unless prez cites a nat security need
KY Sup Court unan. bans a paralegal who leaked documents from Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp, showing it knew about dangers early, from talking about the documents or how they were obtained, even to his own lawyers in the criminal contempt charges. Another Const Amend down!
New book The Enemy Within: MI5, Maxwell & the Scargill Affair by Seumas Milne on the dirty-tricks campaign against Scargill 1984. A union leader who (literally) embraced Qaddafi in Tripoli was an MI5 plant. Other stories that proved to be lies: that he paid off his mortgage w/Libyan money, later claimed to be Soviet. No such funds ever existed. But Br press, esp Maxwell’s Mirror, colluded in such lies. The op was run by Stella Rimington, current head of MI5
10% of Senate has run for president
US offers to sell advanced weapons inc F-16 fighters to Poland & other ex-Warsaw Pacts
Arafat refuses to take over a 2nd W Bank town, Jenin (pop 50,000), offered by Israel
There is a proposed CA ballot initiative for ‘96 to scrap all affirmative action. R’s offered to bankroll it if in Nov rather than June (or whenever primaries are now)
Canadian gov proposes registering all guns
Times claims Michael Foot was counted by KGB an “agent of inf” 1960-8 & took cash.
Clinton will (some time) issue exec order banning gov agencies buying from comps that perm replace strikers. Does not apply retroactively. And can terminate existing contracts w/comps which now hire scabs
Mexican human rights monitor (official) says captured Chiapes rebels are tortured
Members of Swarthmore’s college chorus refuse to sing Bach’s St John Passion because it is anti-semitic
Serbs reject the sanctions-for-recognition deal
Fr PM Balladur, running for prez, in trouble because he ordered a wire-tap on father-in-law of a judge investigating Gaullist finances. The father-in-law was trying to be bribed, but court dismissed all evidence. Balladur is blaming the police
A Fr woman hits 120, cackling over her annuity. She quit smoking 3 yrs ago
The guy who shot at FDR Feb33 confessed 22 dys later, sentenced to death the next day & executed 10 dys later. Florida
Aristide fires all generals & most cols & majors. Ah, but will he replace them?
Yeltsin decree bans all tobacco & alcohol ads, & for faith healers & unlicensed drs.
R’s to repeal free school lunches, turning the programs over to the states, inc eliminating nutritional standards, allowing them to use McDonald’s because it’s cheap – and ketchup will again be a vegetable
The deal for US to rescue Mexico signed. We get veto over their econ policy. They must choke off their economy w/high interest rates. The oil money is to be deposited in Fed so we can seize it
James Watt indicted for inf-peddling at HUD under RR after leaving Interior 1984-6. 25 counts of perjury, inc to Congress & grand jury, & fraud & inf-peddling & w/holding documents
Russia going ahead w/sale of nuclear plants to Iran
And Russian foreign minister advised Serbia to demand sanctions be lifted before they make any concessions, which Serbia did
Europa has an oxygen atmosphere
Death penalty: distrib of executions varies greatly even w/in states. Of the 92 Texas has executed since 1976, 37 from Houston area, 5 Dallas. 9 S. states account for 226 of the 266 executed since 1976.
-For lawyers Texas requires no training or qualifs. Louisiana may pay lawyers nothing & force them to take cases. In parts of GA, lawyers have to handle court appointments for 1st 5 yrs after admission to bar – inc tax lawyers & such
-Sup Court 8-1 allows Ala. death penalty law, under which a judge may impose a death sentence the jury didn’t ask for. Ala. judges are elective. Judges in Ala. have overridden juries 52X, 5 to reverse a death sentence, 47X to impose it. The 1 is John Paul Stevens. Fla, Dele, Indiana have same law. Unlike Fla., Ala law does not require the judge to give any weight to jury
Sup Court 6-3 overturns Fed ethics rule barring civil servs being paid for speeches & articles
Fr throws out 5 CIA types for econ espionage, inc bribing officials to get Fr negotiating position in GATT talks. Foreign Minister Juppé bitched that this was never meant to be public. Implication is that Interior Min or PM leaked it to Le Monde to take heat off of wire-tapping scandal
-US refuses to w/draw the spies
Pakistan court overturns death sentence on a 14-yr old Christian for blasphemy
Nobody wants to run for Sheriff of Nottingham. Labour members of city council don’t want to run
Clinton proposed something Bush failed to get, a bill to make it illegal to give money to the peaceful activities, inc humanitarian, of a violent group (ANC, say). Prez could designate foreign organizs terrorist. And could deport “alien terrorists” on secret evidence not shown to his lawyer. To protect sources